27 Plants That Don’t Like To Mix It Up – Incompatible Plants!

Most experienced gardeners do a good job in keeping their plants healthy but even with these efforts some plants are just not meant to grow next to the other.

There are many reasons why these plants are incompatible. For instance, some plants do well in certain environments, others require more nutrients.

While others are susceptible to parasites and pests that could be detrimental to other plants. Some plants don’t like to mix with others!

Read on to learn what plants and vegetables grow well together and what not to plant together.

Incompatible Garden Plants

There are plants that grow well together while there are some that seem to hate other plants. Knowing the plants that are not compatible with each other is rather easy provided you follow some basic rules. Successful farms know this secret of companion planting.

For example, you should never place tall plants next to short plants as the tall plants will deprive the short plant the much needed sunlight.

However, you can still plant both the tall and short plants together as long as you allow for enough space for the short plants to receive enough sun.

Our article outlines a list of incompatible plants that are compiled from the experiences of seasoned gardeners. Some of these experiences are backed with a scientific explanation while others are not.

However, the article will help you to be conscious of what you grow in your vegetable garden to reap the maximum yields.

So, what plants grow well together?

1. Beans

Since beans are legumes, they have the capacity to enrich the well-drained soil by nitrogen fixing. This is why they are planted in between different types of plants such as potatoes, cucumber, corn and spinach.

However, beans seem to have a negative effect on vegetables from onion and cabbage families. Some of the veggies included in these families includes:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Mustard
  • Cress
  • Chives
  • Garlic
  • Leeks

2. Asparagus

Asparagus do well together with flowering marigolds and nasturtiums as well as other herbs that includes parsley and basil. This is because they will repel most of the pests that affect marigolds and basil plants.

Growing fennel or garlic around Asparagus is a bad idea. They will compete for the same nutrients. For the best results avoid growing any onion family plant around the Asparagus.

3. Carrots

For the best carrot yields, grow them together with legumes such as peas, beans as well as nightshade family vegetables. The legumes are very good in providing the carrots the much needed nitrogen in the soil.

Your carrots will also do well when they share the space with leeks, radish, onions or other low growing plants such as parsley and lettuce.

However, the carrots will not grow well when grown together with herbs such as dills and celery. Avoid herbs in the same piece of land as carrots.

4. Cabbage

Cabbages are large and soft headed vegetables. Due to their soft nature, they attract a large number of pests. For maximum yields grow the cabbages together with herbs such as celery, dill, rosemary, onion mints and thyme.

These types of herbs help keep many pests away. However, you should avoid growing basil, around cabbages as they will hinder their growth.

Similarly, cabbages will not enjoy the companionship of beans although they seem to do well when grown together with potatoes. In addition, beans, especially pole beans are not good companions of cruciferous vegetables.

5. Corn

Farmers who grow corn together with squash and beans tend to get the maximum yields from their farms.

There is also some evidence showing that corn does well with other plants such as the cucurbit family. This consists of plants such as cucumber, melon and pumpkin as well as most legumes.

However, corn does not do well when tomato plants are added to the same bed. Most likely due to both tomatoes and corn being heavy feeders. However, if your garden soil is rich enough, these plants can do well when planted close to each other.

However, the biggest reason to keep corn and tomatoes away from each other is that they are affected by any of the same pests.

The tomato fruit worm also referred to as corn earthworm or tomato hornworm is a common pest that affects these plants. If planted together, these pests tend to multiply easily, affecting the yields of both plants.

6. Cauliflower

Cauliflower do not enjoy the companionship of strawberry, beans and tomatoes. These plants tend to release chemicals that hinders the growth of cauliflower.

However, this popular calciferous vegetable will enjoy the companionship of aromatic herbs and onion family plants.

This is because the aromatic herbs as well as onion family plants will assist in keeping most of the pest that affect the cauliflower.

7. Kale

Kale, the dark dark green leafy superfood vegetable holds some of the most important nutrients for our body.

With the right knowledge, this plant is easy to grow although it belongs to the cabbage family which is prone to many pests.

For this reason, kale companion plants include onions, garlic, nasturtium, dills as well as the mint family herbs such as rosemary, sage and thyme.

Companion planting kale will repel some of the common pests that affect the plants. However, for some reason, kale does not enjoy the companionship of basil.

The kale will do well with potatoes but will not get along well tomatoes. Additionally,kale will not do well with strawberries.

8. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are some of the easiest veggies to grow and are highly rewarding to even novice farmers. They will do well when combined with other plants such as peas, beans, almost all the plants in cabbage as well as nightshade families.

However, potatoes are not good companions. For some reason, the cucumbers do not like the companion of aromatic herbs such as sage, rosemary, basil and sage.

9. Lettuce

Although lettuce are leafy greens that resembles a cabbage especially those types that are head forming, they actually belong to the daisy family.

The lettuce will do well with most of the cruciferous family with the exception of cauliflower and kale.

The allium family plants including the garlic and onions are seeming to produce chemicals that hinders their growth. In addition, the lettuce seems to compete with the same nutrients as the members of the Allium family.

10. Peppers

Although pepper belong to the nightshade family, there are rarely affected by the disease and pests that affect the other members of the family including:

  • Eggplant
  • Potatoes
  • Tomatoes

For this reason, pepper tends to have very less issues when growing them except for the fact that they do not do well with fennel and kohlrabi.

Research indicates that fennel tends to be “antagonistic” to almost all plants in the vegetable family although this is not the case with the kohlrabi.

Apart from being affected by the kohlrabi plant, peppers do not show any negative effects when grown with other members of cruciferous family to which kohlrabi belongs.

11. Melons

When you grow melons together with corn, you are likely to have a bumper harvest.

Since the melons spread along the ground, they will suppress the weeds that compete for nutrients with the corn.

In addition, when the melon lay the leaves on the surface it will act as a mulch that helps in retaining the moisture in the soil.

The leaves also act as an insulating layer keeping the roots warm when the temperature drops. The melons do well with almost all members of sunflowers as well as tomatoes.

However, they do not do well with potatoes although it is in the same group with the tomato.

12. Onions

Onions do great when planted together with cabbage family as well as nightshade vegetables. They do exceptionally well when plated together with root crops such as beets and carrots.

However, yields will be affected when you grow them together with some members of legumes family including different types of peas and beans.

The asparagus is another type of vegetable that do not do well with onions. As stated earlier asparagus competes for the same nutrients with the onions.

13. Pumpkins

Pumpkins are large vegetables that have lots of nutrients for our bodies. Since the plant covers the ground with is leaves it acts as a natural mulch insulating the ground.

The leaves keep roots warm when cold, acting as mulch to keep moisture in when the weather is hot.

This is why it does well when planted with corn, peas and radish. The pumpkin will also benefit from the nitrogen fixing delivered by the legumes. However, for some reason, pumpkins do not do well with potatoes.

14. Potatoes

Potatoes do well with a large number of plants but also has a long list of incompatible plants. Potatoes do well when combined with short as well as long growing plants such as cabbage family members, corns, peas and beans.

To repel most of the pests that affect potatoes, the grow catnip plants, or nasturtium and marigold will do a great job as well.

However, potatoes do not like the companionship of spinach, cucumber, tomatoes, squash, sunflower as well as pumpkins.

Since both tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same family, they are attacked by similar diseases and pests. We can explain their incompatibility with other vegetables because they tend to compete for the same nutrients.

15. Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is another great plant that offers us great nutrients to keep our bodies strong and healthy.

Its presence among cucumber, beets and onions is greatly appreciated although this is not the case when it comes to pepper, tomato and pole beans.

16. Squash

Squash are very tasty vegetables loved across the world. The do well in the presence of onions, radishes and beans.

Because the squashes are soft and tasty they tend to attract a lot of pests. For this reason, squash benefits from the companionship of pest repellent herbs such as nasturtium, mint and catnip.

One thing surprising about squash is that they cannot coexist well with pumpkins although they do well with melons. Potatoes are also enemies with squash.

17. Beets

Beets are easy to grow since they are compatible with most vegetables as well as other garden plants. Beets do not take a lot of time to mature and give desired yields provided you allow them a breathing space when you grow together with other plants.

However, you should avoid growing them around mustard and pole beans.

18. Radishes

Radishes is from the brassicaceae family, a popular group of vegetables that are ideal in making salads. This plant is easy to grow and you can increase its yields when you grow it together with:

  • Beans
  • Nasturtium
  • Beets
  • Chervil
  • Carrots
  • Cucumber
  • Melons
  • Lettuce
  • Parsnips
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Squash

However it is incompatible with Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Hyssop, Kohlrabi, Grape, Potato and Turnips.

19. Spinach

Some of the gardeners that grow spinach have found that they do not do well when planted together with potatoes.

Some of these farmers believe it is because of the shallow roots of the spinach. Although the potatoes are larger than the spinach, they tend to keep their roots close to the soil.

This increases competition for water and nutrients that are close to the top soil. In addition, since the potatoes are taller they will block the much needed sunlight, making spinach have lower yields.

However, spinach benefits from the nitrogen fixing when grown together with peas and beans. In addition, the spinach will do well when grown together with most cabbage family vegies as well as strawberries.

20. Eggplants

Eggplant benefits from nitrogen fixation provided by legumes and are also good companions to potato, capsicum, spinach, as well as peeper.

In addition, when you grow beans around eggplant it will repel the Potato beetle which attack it.

To get the maximum yields you should make sure that you keep away black walnuts which are known to interfere with the eggplant growth.

21. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are some of the garden staples that attracts many pests that also affect other nightshade veggies such as pepper, eggplant and potatoes.

Related Reading: Tomatoes Do’s and Dont’s

So… it is advisable to avoid planting these plants together. When doing crop rotation, you should also remember to substitute with other plants not in this family.

Growing the same family may lead to development of too many disease causing microbes as well as eggs and larvae of common pests. Avoid growing tomatoes with cabbage family veggies as well as corn.

22. Strawberries

Strawberries are relative heavy feeders and why they appreciate beans planted around them to provide them with the nitrogen.

Since they develop sweet and soft fruits they attract a lot of pests. If you plant them together with onions, sage as well as thyme, they benefit from their pest repellent properties.

The strawberries yields are also lessened when grown together with pest prone cabbages family veggies.

23. Peas

Peas are leguminous plants which benefit many garden plants that require nitrogen. This is makes them good companions to all types of cabbages, carrots as well as corn.

However, peas prefer to be planted away from onions, shallots, garlic and potatoes. The garlic and onions produce chemicals retarding the growth of peas.

24. Dill

Dill is one of the aromatic herbs appreciated by many garden plants because of its ability to repel pests.

This plant does well when planted close to onion, lettuce and cabbage. For various reasons this plant is incompatible with tomato and carrot.

25. Garlic

Most farmers think that growing garlic is very beneficial to all the plants because of its pungent smell that repel the pests.

Although this is very true, its ability to repel these pests does not seem be effective when it comes to some plants.

For instance, leguminous plants such as beans do not do well when garlic is around. The snow peas are greatly affected since garlic makes them to have a stunted growth and have very low yields.

However, some farmers have discovered that this can be corrected if you leave a sufficient distance between peas and garlic, allowing their roots to have a breathing space.

However this does not work when the garlic is in a patch of asparagus. The pungent smell however, will do a great job in repelling most of the pests that affect tomatoes, roses and radishes.

26. Rosemary

Rosemary is not only small and looks great but also do a very good job of attracting pollinators. These pollinators will do a great job in ensuring that the plants are pollinated thus increasing their overall yields.

The plant does well when planted around cruciferous vegetables. However, you should avoid planting them around the cucumbers.

This is because they tend to release some chemicals that hinders the growth of the cucumbers.

27. Brussels Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts are very tasty and good in salads. They have many of the same nutrients requirements as the tomatoes. This makes them compete for the same nutrients and why you should not plant them together.

In addition, they are also incompatible with strawberries. They attract the same kinds of pests. However, planting these close to dill and thyme will benefit from their insect repelling properties.

They also do well when grown together with potatoes.

Allowing enough space between plants is very important since different plants have different nutrition demands.

Remember plants that need more water and fertilizer can easily cause problems to other plants that are less nutrient demanding.

If you want these incompatible plants to do well, provide extra space between them.

Another tip that can assist you in growing incompatible plants together is taking note of the allelopathic plants.

Allelopathic plants tends to impede growth and development of other plants because they release certain chemicals that are harmful to the other plant.

Some of the most common allelopathic plants are weeds although there are many others that produce these effects on the competing plant species.

Although there are many discrepancies between what different farmers find good and bad companions for their plants, we have listed some of the common combinations that have been observed by more than one farmer.

However, you can find incompatible plants doing well depending on weather, soil type, nutrients availability as well as deficiency or even the planting or growing seasons.

For example, when there is a deficiency of certain nutrients some plants with similar needs will compete to get the most of what is available.

This may lower the yields of one of the competitors. This may also apply where the water is limited. If there is plenty of water both plants can coexist happily.

For you to be the best gardener, you must learn to observe your plants closely. Use the planting guidelines we have listed and find what works best for you and your garden.

It is also very important to record your personal experiences as this can help you to discover more beneficial companionships as well as incompatibilities.

Sources: 1 | 2 | 3 | Images